Between August and December 2016, local governments were invited to submit best practices they implemented in their communities to increase physical activity and promote healthy living.
Among the items Collier County highlighted in its submission:
- Collier County has significant bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use facilities. The County boasted 95 miles of bicycle lanes, 193 miles of sidewalks and 32 miles of shared use pathways in 2015.
- The County worked to develop the Gordon River Greenway Park, which includes 12-foot-wide pathways and10-foot wide elevated boardwalks for walkers, hikers, runners, cyclists, inline skaters and skateboarders. There is also a launch for kayaks and canoes. The County is in the design phase for a pedestrian/cyclist bridge connecting the Gordon River Greenway Park with the Fred W. Coyle Freedom Park.
- The County’s award-winning Parks and Recreation Division won the Florida Recreation and Parks Association’s 2016 Agency Excellence Award. Several new facilities and features were added in fiscal year 2016, including a new tee ball field in Immokalee, an observation tower at Tigertail Beach and upgraded the County’s pickleball facilities for the 2016 U.S. Open Pickleball Championships. Those fields are open to the public as well.
- Collier County sponsored discounted swim lessons for young children to reduce accidental deaths from drowning.
- AED training and registration for the public by Collier County EMS saved a man in Goodland.
The Community Champions program is part of the department’s Healthiest Weight Florida initiative. Healthiest Weight Florida is a public-private collaboration bringing together state agencies, local governments, not-for-profit organizations, businesses, schools, faith-based organizations and entire communities to help Florida’s children and adults make consistent, informed choices about healthy eating and active living.
To learn more about Healthiest Weight Florida, please visit www.HealthiestWeightFL.com. A list of the 2017 Champion Communities and best practices can be found online at www.HealthiestWeightFL.com/Recognition.html.